Hotel owner's offer of land to relocate jobs in Northallerton is snubbed by the Government (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Hotel owner's offer of land to relocate jobs in Northallerton is snubbed by the Government
THE Government has confirmed it is committed to moving 400 jobs from a town after rejecting a bid to protect the local economy and an appeal from a leading Cabinet member.
A spokesman for the Rural Payments Agency said it would not contemplate an offer from hotelier Martin Coleman to retain the jobs in Northallerton, and plans were set in stone to relocate the jobs to Newcastle and York in February.
He said: “A decision has been made and we are relocating to other parts of the Government estate.”
The agency’s announcement that it would close its offices in Crosby Road, the base for 350 of its staff and 50 Natural England workers, sparked fury in the county town last week, with the Mayor of Northallerton describing the move as “absolutely disgusting”.
The decision to relocate the staff follows the agency being unable to negotiate a reduction in its lease for the Alverton Court offices with a private landlord.
Mr Hague said, after presenting his concerns to the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, it was disappointing that the agency was exercising the lease break of the offices as it considered the premises too big for its needs.
He said: “It is very regrettable the agency has been unable to secure an improvement to their lease.
“I will do everything I can to make sure that every assistance is being given to employees to ensure a smooth transition for all concerned and will be writing to the Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, to ask him to do everything possible to ensure they are well looked after”.
Mr Coleman, who runs Allerton Court Hotel, in Darlington Road, Northallerton, said he wanted to offer the agency land or an office block on a two-acre site beside his business which he has planning permission to develop.
He said: “I am happy to make it affordable for them in this time of austerity as if the agency relocates it will affect everything in the town, down to the smallest sandwich shop.”
Councillor Mark Robson, leader of Hambleton District Council, said while he welcomed Mr Coleman’s offer he was concerned the cost of Alverton Court was not the agency’s primary motive for relocating.
He said: “It was mooted around town a number of years ago that the agency wanted to relocate and there is a question over whether they are using the lease as an opportunity to break free.”
The Rural Payments Agency building
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